Local News in Brief : New Chairman for County Transit Panel

Santa Monica Councilwoman Christine E. Reed became chairman of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission on Wednesday and promptly pushed through three appointments for a joint committee to oversee rail construction.

Reed, who served as the commission’s vice chair in 1988, won approval for the appointments of three members--Supervisor Ed Edelman, Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Jacki Bacharach and private consultant Barna Szabo--to serve on a committee with three Rapid Transit District directors to coordinate construction of the Metro Rail and light rail systems. The committee will also plan for expected consolidation of the two transit agencies.

Reed, a member of the Santa Monica council since 1975, succeeds Supervisor Pete Schabarum as commission chairman. During his often stormy tenure, Schabarum successfully pushed through plans to create a contract bus service in part of the San Gabriel Valley, the heart of his supervisorial district.